What are Brand Guidelines & Why are they important?
When you are looking to build a brand, your first ever step is to define your Brand Guidelines. It is very important, as they help you to focus on What are you? What are your missions? And how do you want to represent yourselves in front of your customers?
Clear brand guidelines will help you maintain your brand identity and details like how you want to appear visually, verbally, or otherwise. Even if you are adopting the change in technology & trends, it shouldn’t change your brand guidelines and users' perspective towards your brand.
This article will give you a brief overview of what you need to know about brand guidelines and why they are so crucial for your brand & business.
Firstly, what are Brand Guidelines?
When you hear the word Brand the first thing that comes to your mind is the logo. But a symbol or icon is only the beginning of brand guidelines. There are things like typography (font, font size), graphics or images you use, your brand tonality, etc comes under brand guidelines.
Usage of the logo-
- Your logo should be attractive, as it is a visual representation of your brand
- Give some breathable space in your logo
- Make sure your logo is fit for every platform, be it social media posts, packaging, ads
- You can use the initials of the company name in your logo, or the symbol representing your brand
- There should be a story or powerful meaning behind your logo
- Choose your color palette according to your business
- Creating complex logos
- Designing your logo by relying only on trends
- Not checking your logo, how it looks on different platforms i.e. social media, packaging, ads
Typography, typefaces & fonts-
Typography: A group of characteristics that supports a company's design, brand voice, and personality across all traditional and digital platforms.
Typefaces: The term "typeface" refers to a group of related fonts.
Fonts: Fonts are the components of a typeface, including its weights, widths, and styles
What you should consider while deciding on the font for your brand
- Your font should be suitable for your brand’s image, be Bold, Decent, or Formal
- One can also, create custom fonts e.g., Disney
- We recommend using 3 Fonts for your- Heading, Sub-Heading & Body copy respectively
- Combine your fonts very thoughtfully
- Your font choices can decide, where and how you’ll be viewed and remembered
Graphics/images/ photography- Best photography/graphics can evoke certain emotions in the user's mind and can help them recognize our brand.
- Clicking real photos for your brand can be impactful; but you can also create graphics, memes or can use animated photos as per your identity.
- Your photography-videography or any graphic you show through your brand should be unique.
- List down Editing do’s & don’ts
- Match your color grading and aesthetic for packaging, website, social media, etc.
- Try to use a professional Camera for shooting & authentic software for editing
Storytelling- We all share stories, e.g. life stories, travel stories, office stories, etc. By telling stories you can trigger the emotions of the other person. We remember the stories we listen to, it gets fit into our subconscious mind. That’s why brands are using storytelling techniques often to engage the audience.
Example: We all have seen Vodafone Zoozoo’s, it was a special character designed by Vodafone for their internet ads. The character was white in color & they had funny ads using these ZooZoos to promote their internet plans and booster plans. This ad or storytelling technique made them popular and the 2nd largest telecommunication firm in India at that time.
Tonality (can be casual, formal, or fun approach) -
The messages, ideas anything you share with your users show your tone of voice. It’s not about what you say, but it’s about how you say it! The tone of voice can be identified in the taglines you use for your product or the ad you show / tweet on social media.
Example: You must have seen the Mountain Dew(drink) ad, where they have shown the adventurous story of bike riding and getting energy by drinking Mountain Dew & they have used “Dar ke aage jeet hai” as their tagline which means even if you fear, you will succeed. Here, we can see their tonality is showing power, courage and inspiration.
These are the basics you can consider while setting the brand guidelines. Not only these but there are many aspects you can add to your brand guidelines. If not clear, you can always talk to a Brand Consultant about setting your brand guidelines. Perito
Why are Brand Guidelines important?
We’ve seen what are brand guidelines, now let's see why they are so important.
Brand rules should be utilized as a tool to maintain brand consistency. No matter how big or small your business is, having brand rules is essential to the success of your brand. Without these rules, you might convey the wrong message, or you can lose track. These brand guidelines keep you consistent in your work & help to focus on your goal.
- It makes your brand recognizable - An attractive logo, experiences you give to consumers through your product or services, a catchy tagline, and the ads you run have a heart-touching story; these can be the reasons behind the recognition of your brand easily anytime anywhere.
Example: If anywhere we see Macdonald’s logo, we immediately recognize it. Same with Cadbury, their attractive packaging gives them instant recognition.
- Builds a trustable brand- You have to build a brand image, and brand story in your user's mind. You have to give them the experience and confidence that you are trustworthy and genuine. For this, you have to maintain the quality of your products or services. Give your users lifetime experiences.
For e.g, a brand like Royal Enfield is so popular worldwide, the company is consistent with giving their users a great experience. It is famous among bikers, mostly the youth. The company has created the aura of its brand product as a sign of power, independence & adventure. The Royal Enfield is a style statement for many of us that’s why the brand is famous and has built the trust among its users.
- Makes your brand approach Clear & Defined- This term should be clear to the employees of the company. They should know about the company’s brand guidelines, work ethics, also the values they need to follow as a part of the company. It will make sure that everyone is working on the same path with the same vision. Having brand rules in place will keep your brand consistent and help users of the brand to avoid confusion.
- Can target the right audience- By setting your guidelines you can decide your target audience. The age, gender, and interest of users can be decided. If the targeting of your brand goes wrong, it will be of no use & will affect your brand performance.
- Can hire the right people & saves time, money & confusion- Because you developed your brand, you know it in and out. At least initially, a new employee won't be familiar with the guidelines of your brand. If your brand rules are very well explained to the employees or to the newcomers, their vision will be clear and your job will get easier.
- Building a perception in user's mind- This is a very important aspect to look into. What you are conveying to the public and what they are understanding can be far different from each other. That’s why, you should be very thoughtful before using any phrase, advertisement, or storytelling method.
Marketing will help you get customers in large quantities, but Brand guidelines will help you get customers who are consistent & loyal to your brand. Remember, setting Brand guidelines is an investment for your company & not an expense.
Conclusion - I hope this article helped you in understanding what are Brand guidelines & why they are important. Brand guidelines are the base of your business and help you become consistent & grow eventually. If in a doubt, you can always talk to a consultant. Get a free chat with a Brand Consultant at Perito | Find a Consultant